5 Toxic Behaviors That Poison Your Relationship With Your Teen

Toxic Behavior #3 Compliment Sandwiches Have you ever received a compliment followed by a "but?"    Imagine your boss tells you, " you did a great job on this report, but you missed a few key items."  It feels more like a complaint doesn't it?  A compliment sandwich is where you put a "but" between a compliment and a criticism.

Some parents feel the need to add a critical comment when they praise their child.  For example, telling your teen "You did a great job folding the towels, but you need to work on your sheet folding skills."  Serving compliment sandwiches such as this creates bad feelings between you and your teen.  They will learn to brace for criticism when they hear a compliment coming.  They will not be able to truly hear your positive words.  When you complain directly after a compliment, it's as if you just undid the compliment itself.  

To stop serving compliment sandwiches, ask a friend or your partner to help make you aware of it by politely pointing it out when you do it.  Practice imagining a giant period at the end of every compliment you give.  If you need to critique poor behavior, address it separately from the good behavior.  This will ensure that your teen hears your positive words and not only the negative.

Make sure to check out Toxic Behavior # 4 tomorrow!

*Source: Parenting Your Out Of Control Teenager by Scott Sells

Written by Alexa Griffith, LMHC, LCAC, NCC, RPT

Alexa Griffith, LMHC, LCAC, NCC, RPT  is a licensed therapist and Registered Play Therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Alexa enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, couples and relationship counseling. Alexa also does play therapyfamily counseling, child counseling, and adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Zionsville, and Westfield